About Keep Wales Tidy's Tidy Towns' work in Cardiff

Hi, my name is Chris Partridge and I am Keep Wales Tidy's Tidy Towns Project Officer for Cardiff. Activities we undertake are often in partnership with Cardiff Council's Parks Department (both waste services and Community Park Rangers) and Street Cleansing. We have organised events for several businesses across Cardiff and is happy to accommodate future requests. For more information you can contact Chris on 07717 412 270 or by Email: chris.partridge@keepwalestidy.org You can also follow me on Twitter for upcoming events @CardiffKWT

Monday, 16 May 2011

16.05.11 Learning from the pro's in Merthyr; moving rubbish up steep banks with winches

Occassionally, we have to spend a day or two elsewhere topping up skills or in this case learning new ones. Several weeks ago I helped Cardiff Rivers Group to move large volumes of accumulated rubbish from the bank downstream of Radyr Cricket club across the river to Forest Farm. It was a brilliant occassion in the sun, but it was really hard work. There must be a better way.

A few weeks passed and my new colleague KWT Tidy Town's funded officer for RCT, Richard Barrett, showed me a video of winching material that he recorded while out training for his new post with our Merthyr Officer, Paul Kent. I sought permission for a day out of Cardiff as this could be very handy for us here.

Here we are, Quakers Yard, under the magnificent viaduct. The water rushes downstream here and forms eddys when it hits the massive pillars of the viaduct. This swirls, collects and dumps fly tipped items just here. Problem here is that the banks are very steep, the rocks are slipppers and the trolleys are generally razor sharp, yet dirty. Initially Rob and Paul set up a hand winch to pull items from the water,

but we quickly swapped over the heavy duty Tirfor winch which can lift 1.5 tonne and pull 2.4 t. The trolleys were grapple-hooked out and dragged up to a collecting platform away from the water's edge. The biggest item was an old metal container which was full of silt and debris. All we could do was winch it to the waters edge and we slowly winched it over until the silt was emptied; This was really hard work.

We enjoyed a brief water break, followed by the removal of our waders and Buoyancy Aids. The next part of the job was to construct an A-frame which would raise up a rope high for the pulley system. To do this we used 2x 8 foot long pieces of elm which had a Y and the end. These poles were lashed together while the rope to the bottom of the slope was tied to a tree at the bottom and a concrete pot at the top. A pulley was then added to this rope with 2 carabiners and a piece of rope which was wrapped around the rubbish and attached to the carabiner. We then had a rope attached to the pulley carabiner which enabled us to pull the items up the bank with more ease and safety compared to dragging it up the slope; genius.

For the large metal conainer, we attached the tirfor to the A-frame and the concrete pillar and the end of the wire rope was attached to rope which was attached to the container via a knot and grapple hook.

Altogether we collected 17 trolleys, 5 bikes, 2 bags of miscellaneous rubbish and the massive metal container.

Slideshow of pictures:

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